Associated Press Published

W.Va. Agency Gives Public Officials Social Media Guidelines

Ethics Commission

A recent advisory opinion by the West Virginia Ethics Commission gives public officials guidance on the use of social media such as Twitter and Facebook.

The opinion says public officials can’t use public resources to manage or post on their personal or campaign social media. Photographs taken by the public agency or for the agency’s use also can’t be used.

Public officials can post their portrait photograph and photographs of themselves attending public events on their agency’s official social media, as long as the primary purpose is to promote the agency’s mission or services.

An unidentified county commissioner had asked the commission for guidance on public officials’ use of social media. The commission says the request is its first opportunity to provide such guidance.